University Growth & Construction Causes Parking Strain


Todd Kleiboer

Parking Lot 5, located outside of Ferguson and Gee Library.

Shawntae Teague, Staff Reporter

Students have voiced concern and confusion about limited parking on campus due to the construction of Texas A&M University Commerce’s new nursing building and the general growth of the student body.

Donna Spinato, Chief of University Police, said that a consulting firm is currently working with university administration to make recommendations as to where and how to go about creating additional parking.  According to the Chief, the firm will likely present the recommendations to administration within the next few weeks.

“We’re transitioning because of the changes, and we’re trying to make things work as smoothly as possible,” Spinato said.

In the meantime, Chief Spinato maintained that there is plenty of parking, as well as transportation alternatives available to students.

“I think a lot of the students are just not thinking about parking lots 18 and 19, because they think they’re really far away, but they’re really not,” Spinato said.  “And, if they do think they’re far away, we’ve always got the shuttles that are running.”

The Pride Ride shuttles consistently travel to various stops around the campus and have two different routes, Blue and Gold. Students can call the Safety Office for information about the two routes, as well as download the RideHop app for live location updates.

During move-in week, students were permitted to park on the service road along the front of the university to make unloading more convenient. That area is no longer an acceptable location for parking, according to Chief Spinato.

The area is strictly a service road to the main highway, and the south portion is not wide enough for both parking and the flow of traffic. Parking along that road causes congestion in the street which is unsafe for both students and drivers.

Chief Spinato asked that students utilize the added lot near Phase II, as well as the lots that often aren’t completely full, such as 18 and 19.

“We don’t have front row parking for everyone–which you never have anywhere. But we do have plenty of parking at this particular point,” Spinato said.